GFI alumi are part of major league baseball history

first_imgFrom small beginnings in home town stadiums, many of the faces that have crossed the home plate in Grand Forks have made their way to stardom in the major leagues.Brent Lillibridge played in the 2003 Grand Forks International with the Seattle Studs. He is seen here crossing home plate after belting a home run against the Reno Astros in the championship game.Lillibridge was an outstanding player at the University of Washington and would be chosen in the fourth round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Later he was traded to the Atlanta Braves and made his MLB debut April 26, 2008. He was then traded to the Chicago White Sox.He was part of White Sox history earlier this season when, on April 11, he hit the 10,000th home run in the history of the Sox franchise. One article describes Brent as outgoing and an individual of deep faith who tries to connect with the White Sox fan base. Apparently he makes as much usage of Twitter as anyone on the team. Just a couple of weeks after he hit that milestone home run for Chicago he was once again in the news: Versatile, skilled Lillibridge makes statement, screamed one headline. Another said, Utility player secures White Sox win with pair of defensive gems.This occurred in the ninth inning of a 3-2 victory over New York in Yankee stadium. To make back to back game saving catches is a rare feat. After watching these sparkling defensive plays on video one can only shake their head. In fact, two of baseball’s all-time greats, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were doing just that, reflecting some exasperation and frustration but no doubt accompanied with admiration for the athletic ability and hustle of Lillibridge.Making this night in the Big Apple even more remarkable was that Brent, normally an infielder, was playing in right field for only the eighth time in his career.White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen quipped, “I finally found my closer.”From Grand Forks to Chicago; from this small town in Southern B.C. to New York and Yankee Stadium; from James Donaldson Park, an intimate ballpark on the United States/Canada border to 40,000 seat United States Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park)… and the story continues… the GFI – don’t miss it!Brent’s saving catch on video:http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/5052025-574/in-case-you-missed-the-game-saving-catches-by-white-sox-of-brent-lillibridge-video.htmllast_img

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